Shakespeare: 'Hamlet'

Author: Lennard, John


PDF ISBN 978-1-84760-028-8 87 pages, two illustrations, internal and external hyperlinks; file size 1.31 mb. Licence: one printing allowed, copying disabled. Also in ePub and Mobi.

Recommend to your librarian

This study guide aims to give students the basis for an informed discussion of Shakespeare's play and to explore it as a play profoundly concerned with the business of playing and the tragedy of Hamlet as a actor. Formats: PDF (recommended), ePub and Mobi


The book aims to introduce students (including those with little or no prior experience of the field) to the worlds of Shakespeare and his theatre revealed in Hamlet. It begins by “Approaching Shakespeare” as utterly a man of the theatre, a professional actor before he was a playwright and a resident dramatist who knew intimately the actors for whom he wrote. It continues by “Approaching Hamlet” in that light, and as a revenge tragedy deliberately overloaded with complications. The middle chapters look in detail at the “Actors and Players” of the drama, starting with the Ghost and ending with “˜the best actors in the world”, and at Shakespeare's favourite “Acts and Devices” as deployed within it. A final chapter considers Hamlet and Twelfth Night, written and premiered in close succession, as an unexpectedly resonant pair, a surprisingly funny revenge tragedy and a surprisingly bleak revenge comedy that for the first audiences would have complemented one another. The annotated Bibliography includes the current major editions of Hamlet, the major film-adaptations, and a selection of both the best criticism and the most useful websites.

ALSO AVAILABLE WITH KING LEAR FOR ONLY £5.49 (see Shakespeare: Hamlet and Lear)

About the author

John Lennard took his B.A. and D.Phil. at Oxford University, and his M.A. at Washington University in St Louis. He has taught Shakespeare via all 37 plays and the poetry in the Universities of London, Cambridge, Notre Dame, the Open University and as Professor of British & American Literature at the University of the West Indies—Mona. His publications include But I Digress: The Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse (Clarendon Press, 1991), The Poetry Handbook (1996; 2/e, OUP, 2005), and with Mary Luckhurst The Drama Handbook (OUP, 2002). He is the general editor of the Genre Fiction Sightlines and Genre Fiction Monographs series, and has written several Sightlines titles, and two critical collections, Of Modern Dragons and other essays on Genre Fiction (2007) and Of Sex and Faerie: Further Essays on Genre Fiction, both available from this site.

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Shakespeare: 'Hamlet'

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